Freshman Stuart matches career goal-scoring marks of junior Spencer, father Jeff
GOSHEN, Ind. — Freshman Stuart Aeschliman scored his first career goal just past the hour mark of his first game at the John Ingold Soccer Complex and added an assist on a coup de grace with 71 seconds to play as Goshen downed Siena Heights 2-0 in college men’s soccer Wednesday night.
The West Salem, Oregon, native took a cross from Ethan Francois-Ravalier in the six-yard box and slotted it into the left side of the goal with 29:16 remaining to open his account. With less than two minutes to play, it was his through ball to Alejandro Rosales that allowed the sophomore to beat the goalkeeper and set up the final margin.
Goshen (1-1) had more than its share of chances early, winning five corner kicks in the first 11 minutes and out-shooting the Saints (0-1) by a 6-1 margin in the game’s first quarter.
“I thought we were great for the first 25 minutes,” said Goshen coach Arron Patrick. “We dominated possession, made the field big for Siena Heights, and looked like we could have scored at will. Even after they stopped us, we did a good job of winning the ball back high up the pitch. Credit to Siena Heights for digging their heels in and being very resilient to deny us.”
The Maple Leafs would add five more shots and four more apex restarts before the intermission, ending the first half with edges of 11-5 in total shots and 9-2 in corners. Morgen Gardocki made four stops between the Saints sticks to keep the scoreboard empty while Johan Escalante made his first save with six minutes left for GC.
Siena Heights came out aggressively and directly after halftime, taking three shots in a four-minute span after seeing their first chance negated by an offside flag in the 49th minute. Escalante would add two more saves in the second half, one in the 64th minute and another in the 73rd, to post his fourth shutout in six starts going back to 2016.
“Defensively our press worked well,” Patrick said. “Our center backs need to do a better job of positioning themselves to completely negate any threats in behind us. Tevin and Sven are new to each other but make a very well-balanced pair. The one time SHU did get through, Johan did what he does and came up with a big stop.”
Aeschliman paced the Maple Leafs with six shots, putting two of them on frame. Uriel Macias added four shot attempts for GC: the two players were the only ones on either side with more than one shot on goal. Brent Rodden, Chris Ornelas and Enoch Tabu-Beckson took three shots each for SHU.
The Maple Leafs’ first goal of the season also continued a family tradition of sorts for the Aeschlimans: Spencer Aeschliman, a junior and Spencer’s older brother, scored his first career goal in a shutout against Siena Heights on the same field in Goshen’s home opener two years ago. Both siblings followed in the footsteps of their father: Jeff Aeschliman’s lone career tally also opened the scoring at home under the lights in a non-conference shutout, namely the 10th minute of a 2-0 win over Tri-State on October 23, 1986.
All three Aeschlimans have exactly one career goal, although Jeff was a two-time all-conference defender and Spencer is in his third season as captain.
“Obviously Stuart made a big difference with a goal and an assist tonight,” Patrick said. “He’s a very talented player who has lots to learn off the ball, but if he’s in and around the goal he’ll make stuff happen.”
Goshen finished the match with a 19-14 lead in shots, 10 of the 15 corner kicks and three-fourths of the 12 shots on target. Siena Heights committed seven fouls to Goshen’s four.
“It was nice to finish the game off in the end, but we need to do a better job of finishing these games off earlier and not expending so much energy for so long,” said Patrick. “We have to recover now and get ready for Saturday. Our guys will get lots of reps in game situations over the next 10 days.”
The Maple Leafs will play five times in the 11-day span starting Wednesday, which also forms most of a stretch in which the team plays six of seven matches at home. Goshen plays its next four home matches in doubleheaders with the women’s team, beginning Saturday with a 5 p.m. kickoff against Roosevelt University. GC’s women face Cleary University at 2:00.
Goshen College is an affordable, nationally-ranked Christian liberal arts college in Northern Indiana known for leadership in intercultural and international education, sustainability and social justice.
The Maple Leafs compete in 13 varsity sports in the NAIA’s highly competitive Crossroads League, continuing a tradition of intercollegiate athletics that dates to 1956 and included women’s competition nearly a decade before Title IX. For more information on GC athletics, visit www.GoLeafs.net and follow the Maple Leafs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @GCMapleLeafs.